Internet shutdown in Zimbabwe: what happened?

Only five days after the United Nations passed an historic resolution specifically condemning internet shutdowns, reports from Zimbabwe suggest that the government may have ordered WhatsApp blocked. Zimbabweans and local news outlets reported an internet shutdown in the context of massive social unrest. Thousands of people are protesting about bad governance and a collapsing economy […]
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Kenya: draft laws for the internet need redrafting

Access Now files comments on the regulations with Kenya’s Communications Authority Last week, Dennis Itumbi, the Kenyan Presidency State House Director for Digital and Diaspora Media, hinted that the Kenyan government was preparing a bill to regulate the use of the social media, with the aim of preventing hate speech. The announcement came as a […]
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Uganda blocks social media (again), harms human rights

Peter Micek and Deji Olukotun contributed to this post. Today the government in Uganda blocked social media services in anticipation of the swearing-in ceremony for President Yoweri Museveni that will take place tomorrow. Uganda’s telecommunications regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), confirmed the block, citing “national security” as the reason. This is the second time this […]
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Helping African nations protect human rights online: UPR review

Access Now recently submitted evidence on the digital rights records of both South Sudan (PDF) and Uganda (PDF) for the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Universal Periodic Review is the cooperative process by which the Human Rights Council reviews the human rights records of all 193 U.N. member states. Our […]
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Kenya’s KICA ruling: a beacon of hope for free expression in Africa

Kenya has had its reputation for protecting free expression tarnished over the past two years, due to its increasingly harsh and arbitrary enforcement of the highly controversial Section 29 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act (KICA). This section of the law has been used to jail journalists and bloggers for their communications. However, a […]
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Digital rights groups ask African Union, U.N. to take action on Uganda social media blackout

Peter Micek and Deji Olukotun contributed to this post. UPDATE 2/24/2016:  The Uganda Communications Commission stated in a Facebook post on Tuesday that the blocking order comported with the Uganda Communications Act, and wrote “We truly regret the inconvenience all of you might have suffered.” This guarded apology is a thinly veiled admission that the […]
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Uganda blocks Twitter and Facebook on election day in latest internet shutdown

Deji Olukotun contributed to this post. The government of Uganda ordered telecommunications companies to block social media on Thursday as the country prepared to vote for national elections. Journalists recorded that Twitter and Facebook were blocked, but circumvention of the block was possible, in some instances, through the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Leading […]
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Telcos find backbone, deny Guinea’s request for users’ data

Peter Micek contributed to this post.  In contrast to U.S. telcos, African operators push back on rights-violating demands Three telecommunications companies in the west African nation of Guinea Conakry (formerly French Guinea) just said “no” to demands that they hand over all subscriber and call data. On January 6th, Guinea’s post and telecommunications regulator, the […]
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South Africa draft cybersecurity and cybercrime bill misses the mark

Drew Mitnick contributed to this post.  The South African government has closed a period of consultation on a draft cybersecurity and cybercrime bill that, as written, undermines the rights to privacy, lacks transparency, and chills cybersecurity research and online expression. Access Now provided written recommendations to the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development […]
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How are the African nations of Mauritania and Rwanda doing when it comes to human rights online?

Right now the United Nations Human Rights Council is holding its 23rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) working group session (November 2nd-13th, 2015). The Universal Periodic Review is the cooperative process by which the Human Rights Council reviews the human rights records of all 193 U.N. member states. Here’s a look at the digital rights landscape […]
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